Welcome to Goodbye Lonely

Goodbye Lonely has been in existence as a Facebook group for nine months now.

But the concept of supporting people through loneliness has been something I've been involved with for close on18onths.

Where it started ...

Early in 2020, during the first lockdown, I found being on my own to be something of a struggle.

I was interviewed on BBC Breakfast, talking about loneliness, living on my own in my flat, isolation from people, and associated mental health implications.

Then further on in the year, when support bubbles were introduced, I was interviewed on BBC Breakfast again talking about the difference it was going to make being able to see my daughters and hug them for the first time in several months.

Later in 2020 I was very very lucky to be interviewed on BBC Breakfast again, and have the opportunity of a zoom call with the amazing Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Although only a few minutes were broadcast the actual conversation with him went on for about 35-40 minutes. It was an amazing experience.

All of this took place at a time when I was running #Well-beingWednesday for my employer, Wave on behalf of Nespresso. The combined experience brought me to thinking more about how other people were dealing with loneliness.

Even those who may have been working from home or perhaps furloughed by their employer (as I was).

I began to look into how this change of circumstances was affecting people.

By Christmas 2020, when we were in our third lockdown, I found a lot of people were talking to me about how difficult times were.

On Christmas day evening, I set up a zoom call for anybody that was feeling lonely and wanted to have a chat.

As it turned out, I sat there for an hour on an empty zoom call, but as my daughter said to me afterward “Well, that just goes to show that nobody was feeling lonely on Christmas day dad so that's good.”

More people spoke to me between Christmas and New Year, so on New Year's Eve I decided to establish ‘Goodbye Lonely’.

Over the past 18 months I have helped a good number of people, who were close to suicide or nervous breakdown, or nervous exhaustion. In general terms, I simply acted as a sounding board helping them find their way back to living their normal life.

I'm not going to say I stopped anybody from taking their life, but I do believe I help them find a path back to their life’s journey. The light at the end of the tunnel!

Many of those I helped were not members of ‘Goodbye Lonely’ at the time. For example, on one occasion a young lady was seriously on the verge of committing suicide.

I remember it was a Sunday and I managed eventually to get hold of her on the phone after several worrying hours of thinking I may have been too late.

We spent five hours on the phone chatting about all her challenges. I wouldn't let her get off the phone until I knew that she was safe.

We still keep in touch, and she's doing fine.

I've also helped at least 10 or 12 people through difficult times in their lives. Some of them were still working through emotional stuff.

The conversations take place via Zoom, telephone calls, Messenger, WhatsApp, whatever works best for them. And at whatever time!

Most weeks I spend 6 or 8 hours chatting to members that need someone to talk to.

My main mantra is always that..

“Goodbye Lonely provides a non-judgemental shoulder for support, or to cry on.”

What people have said....

“I dread to think where I would be right now if I had not connected with you.”

“I’ve known Keith for a few years now and in our history, he has been the rock that has gotten me through some terrible times.”

“I hit the wall a while ago and he was there, no judging, no words if ‘I know more than you’ advice, and certainly no ‘you should have done this.’”

“You are very good at sorting out my head.”

“Couldn’t have done it without you, Keith.”

“Thank you so much for the encouragement! I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

“I’ve noticed that every time we have a chat, I make a step forward in healing my mind from all the trauma.”

“It’s like I’m plodding along in life taking one day at a time and then it starts to wobble and I fall back.
Then I call you and we have a chat and about two days later I’m catapulted about 5 days ahead.”

The future...

Firstly I have built this website.
More of the same.
Build the group.
Find funding.
Provide more support, to more people.
Build an app.

Thanks for all your support this far.

Have an exceptional week.

Keith Grinsted MBA FRSA